Reprinted with permission from Joan Wester Anderson's website. This story originally appeared on Beliefnet in 2002.

Renee Dotson was running uncharacteristically late as she rounded up her children for their tae kwan do lessons. Their Plano, Texas home featured a six-foot-tall privacy fence around the back yard, and Renee had forgotten that the family's miniature Schnauzer, Lucky, was still out there. (Usually they brought him in when everyone left at the same time.) Worse, one of the children had inadvertently left the back gate open. Unaware, Renee herded the children into the truck and set off. They were gone for over an hour.

"The back gate opens onto an alley, and whenever it's left open, Lucky always runs out of the yard and gets lost," Renee says. "So when we returned home and I pulled up to the curb at the front of the house, I was surprised to see Lucky sitting quietly in front of the house next to the fence." But there was another surprise too.

A girl about ten years old was standing right next to Lucky, holding a golden leash attached to the dog's collar.

"The girl was dressed in old-fashioned garb, a blue dress with a white pinafore, which hung just below her knees," Renee says. "She wore white stockings, and some sort of locket around her neck. The dress was trimmed with white lace at the neck and sleeves. She had long thick blonde hair that hung to her waist, and there was a white glow about her." Renee stared. She had never seen such a person in her neighborhood. Had the girl found Lucky and brought him home? But how would she know where he lived? And where had the leash come from?Questions bouncing around in her head, Renee took her eyes off the scene to finish parking. When she looked over again, the girl was gone. "But the dog was still sitting there, with the leash not only still attached to his collar, but still somehow suspended in mid-air!"

The family got out of the truck and walked towards Lucky. "Usually he would be bounding towards us, but he was still sitting there, watching us approach," says Renee.The leash had disappeared, but when Renee got within five feet of the dog, she heard a girl's voice. "It's okay, Lucky," the voice said. "You can go now." Instantly the dog began to jump all over the children.

"The kids never saw the girl," Renee says. "But I did. It couldn't have been my imagination because I had no inkling the dog was even in danger." Renee thanked the girl that night, because without her, the family would have lost their beloved pet. "She didn't have wings or a halo, but I've never been able to think of her without feeling that she was an angel."

Would God care about the loss of a pet? Enough to send an angel to prevent it? This is the same God who tells us that "every hair on your head is numbered." A God of details. A God who cares.

Postscript from Renee: "We had to put Lucky down last year....He was 8 years old at the time. He had gotten into a scuffle with a toad, and began developing weird neurological symptoms, eventually resulting in seizures. We went into the vet as a family. I had my hand on Lucky when the injection was given, and I physically felt his spirit, as soft and warm as a cloud, lift from his body through my hand and part of my arm, towards the ceiling. Because of this, I knew he was gone before the vet did, and it really hit home with me that our souls have physical substance."

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